Study Guide

My Heartbeat Tone

By Garret Freymann-Weyr

Tone

Serious, Careful, Curious

Freymann-Weyr does a solid job of creating a voice for Ellen that matches her description to a tee. Ellen isn't necessarily a vivacious or loquacious narrator. No, she's quiet, and introverted, and deeply introspective. James describes her as "curious, careful, kind, and intense," and we think that matches the tone of the book perfectly:

I have, of course, missed learning about these particular laws in my reading. No one writes them down because that would involve admitting they exist. Everyone has to learn what they are and how to cope with them in their own way. The unwritten social laws about gay people might be ones that Dad, despite being smart and someone I know, obeys. And he probably wants us to obey them as well. The way he wants us to obey his laws about our minds and their heartbeats. (7.63)

It's almost like you can watch the gears turning in her head as she puzzles over this new information. She takes it all in, processes it, and logs it away for further introspection. By creating such an authentic voice for Ellen, Freymann-Weyr has crafted a fitting tone for her book as well.